Could salt be the reason for disrupted sleep?

Girl under a duvet

A recent Japanese study observed 321 men and women, their salt intake, and the number of times their sleep was broken to visit the toilet.

223 people reduced their salt intake. The number of times they visited the toilet during the night fell from 2.3 times per night to 1.4 times per night. In contrast, 98 people increased their intake and the average number of visits to the toilet in the night increased from 2.3 times to 2.7 times. Suggesting that salt impacts the number of times your sleep is disrupted to empty your bladder.

The UK guidelines are less than 6g salt per day (for adults) – this is equivalent of 1 teaspoon per day. When reading food labels look at the salt per 100g – high is considered greater then 1.5g per 100g.

Once digested, salt makes us thirsty and we consume more liquid. We hold on to more fluid when we’ve eaten salt so our weight is greater, but so is blood pressure and the frequency of urinating during the night.

Nutrition guidelines are to not add it to food when cooking or when on the plate. There is sufficient in the occasional processed food we eat without adding any to food.

If you suffer from high blood pressure, definitely consider your salt intake as this is a major contributing factor (alongside cholesterol and stress) for hypertension.

If you have reduced your salt intake and you still have frequent visits to the toilet contact your GP for a Diabetes (blood sugar) test, and for men consult your GP to have your prostate checked (it is a normal process for the prostate to enlarge with age but it should be checked regularly to confirm it is not causing urination complications).

For more information about the clinical trial

A reminder:

  • The information in this article is for educational purposes and should not replace medical advice.
  • The information is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition.
  • If you have a diagnosed medical condition, you should consult a doctor before making any major changes to your diet, and;
  • Some supplements may interact with medications and you should check with your GP before commencing any supplement programme.
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